#MovingWhileBlack: How ex-Obama staffer got fingered as a burglary suspect by six cops
Darren Martin, who spent several years working in the White House returned to his native New York, only to find that he wasn't as welcome back as he thought
A Black man in Manhattan moving into his new apartment got unexpected visitors when police showed up at his door last Friday.
Darren Martin, fresh off of working on Capitol Hill and in the White House under Obama’s administration, had a jarring experience when the Bronx native made a move back to NYC.
Mistaken for suspect
A neighbor called the cops on Martin who was unloading his belongings into his Upper West Side apartment when the police responded to a burglary call, reports New York’s WPIX. Unfortunately it was Martin who was cited as the burglary suspect.
“Somebody called the cops on me in my own building,” Martin told viewers through a live stream. “About how many are ya’ll? About six of ya’ll showed up, rolled up on me.”
The unsettling incident didn’t sit right with Martin.
“I didn’t really think anyone was going to call the cops on me because I mean — I was moving into the building.”
“I’m in my apartment but you know — you can’t go nowhere without the cops following me,” Martin said during the encounter live streamed on social media.
I was happy to move back to NYC and into my new apt in the UWS, near Harlem. The plan was to do this today in daylight, recording all the pomp that comes along with such a move. Well, life and work happens and you end up having to move on a Friday night at 11pm, and unexpectedly, pic.twitter.com/D16sHCEI7i
— Darren D. Martin (@MartinDarrenD) April 28, 2018
An officer on the scene turned the volume up on his radio. Martin could hear the call.
“Somebody was trying to break in the door” with a “possible weapon,” the dispatcher said.
To Martin, it seems to be another incidence of cops being called on Black men — for being Black. He is trying to come to grips with the ugliness of that reality.
“As a Black man when you’re in an all-white environment, you’re cognizant of that,” he said. “I have to say I found it kinda symbolic. [It’s] like welcome to the neighborhood.”
“The broader message to everyone is get to know folks before you make these assumptions,” he said. “When you make that call there’s no turning back and it could have ended very differently.”